You probably have that one thing you dread most about a doctor’s visit, whether it’s getting your blood drawn, updating your vaccine history, or having a pap smear. And while getting these routine check-ups in can certainly feel like a nuisance, The Big Bang Theory alum and Jeopardy! host Mayim Bialik reminds her followers how critical triennial pap smears and biannual or yearly mammograms are for individuals with a vagina and those who are at risk for cervical or breast cancer.
Mayim was totally candid about her own recent experience, sharing a carousel of three hilarious selfies from her doctor’s appointment. If you’ve been putting off scheduling your next OBGYN visit, Bialik’s honest post is a great reminder that might also help calm your nerves.
“Here’s your friendly neighborhood reminder to please get your yearly pap tests and mammograms if you’re over 40, or have a family history!! ❤️” Bialik wrote on Instagram.
A post shared by mayim bialik (@missmayim)
“Fun fact about my recent visit — I somehow managed to break open the top of the gown, making it unwearable. (I tore it open like a toilet seat cover.) The doctor said she had never seen anyone not know how to put on a top.” Bialik, who has a doctorate in neuroscience from UCLA, adds: “Guess a PhD means nothing when faced with a paper hospital gown.”
Fans quickly commented with many LOL’s and laughing emojis, one follower even writing #bazinga in reference to Bialik’s co-star on The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons). Followers bonded over similar experiences, one writing, “Happens to me all the time!!😂” Another fan wrote, “😂😂😂 This is great. Thank you for the laugh ❤️.” Just as many replied with confirmations that they have had their tests, one even saying “Very timely⏰ My mammogram is in 3 hours!”
If you are wondering whether or not it’s time for you to schedule your own appointment, the Mayo Clinic says women ages 21 to 65 should have a pap smear every three years, while women who are 30 or older can opt to have the test done every five years, as long as they have a test for HPV, as well.
The American Cancer Society notes women ages 40 to 44 can choose to have a mammogram, but the routine doesn’t necessarily have to begin until you reach 45, at which point you should have a mammogram every year until the age of 54. When you are 55 and older, you can start having mammograms every two years.
As Bialik notes, if you have a family history of cancer, it’s even more critical that you stay on top of these visits and consider beginning the process earlier rather than later.
Editor’s Note: Talk to your doctor about what’s right for you, especially if you have questions about how regularly you should be scheduling these visits. When it comes to your health, it’s always better to be safe!
Bialik is known for breaking down stigmas surrounding mental and physical health, and her most recent Instagram post demonstrates the actress’s determination to continue starting conversations about traditionally ‘taboo’ topics (while keeping us laughing at the same time, of course).
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